Friday, December 10, 2010

Chrome and Hot Leather Review: Featuring the Nerdiest Green Berets This Side of the Mississip

Not to be mucked with. 
If you're down with bikersploitation, then boy I have a treat for you today. Of course I'm talking about Lee Frost's 1971s Chrome and Hot Leather! Maybe it's not a perfect movie, but it does have chrome in it, and I think one of the guys in the gang wears a leather coat (most of them wear denim)!

Let's take a look at some of the least biker-ish bikers ever filmed, and how Chrome and Hot Leather contributed to cinema, and ultimately changed the bikersploitation genre.

What's makes this movie different?
Marvin Gaye is in this bad boy! His weapon of choice? The voice of an angel.

Anyways, People To Know

Mitch - A Green Beret whose fiancée was (accidentally) murdered by a (not really) vicious biker gang. He needs revenge, and he needs it now. This guy is so straight laced that Joe Friday would tell him to loosen up.

This magic moment
when I was menacing you
will last forever
forever, 'til the end of time
Jim - Mitch's friend. He's not afraid to ask the question "What's going on?"

T.J. - A large armed biker who often makes statements that don't seem to be true. He'll say things such as "we don't want trouble," or "I'm happy to see you," but you can't help but think that he in fact does want trouble, and is not happy to see you. Also, he does not like noise in the room when he's "menacing someone."

Casey - T.J.'s fellow biker. He smashes Mitch's fiancées windshield with a chain as she's driving down the road. She ultimately drives off of a cliff in true 1970s fashion, and he claims it was an accident. That's just dumb.

Mike - He's controls munitians, and in no way follows protocol.

We're playing G.I.s and Vietcong(s) again? Aw, but I
was the Vietcong last time. 
And the Story Goes...

We begin with Mitch, Jim, and the gang watching some army guys playing the Vietnam equivalent of "Cowboys and Indians." After comparing notes and determining that they probably wouldn't win the Vietnam war, they vow to be hypocritical, and to force their children to endure the same type of situation in the Middle East based on greed, preferably during the the 00s. For the younger readers out there, it is not uncommon for baby boomers to be completely self-centered and greedy. Often you will find them exploit even friends and family to get ahead.

Anyways, we move back to the States to see Mitch's fiancée and her friend being harassed by a biker gang as they are driving down the road. The two try to escape by turning down a road, but "Casey the obsessive biker" decides he will not be rejected by the young beauties, and turns back to run them off of the road, thus killing them.

Look kids, a 1970s "driving off a cliff" shot. This is when
movies were fun. Real cars, real cliffs, real hookers promised
a shot a fame. Ah, times have changed.
Mitch gets word that his fiance has been killed by the vicious biker gang, and comes back to the States with his beret buddies. It's time to track down some outlaws, and to judo-chop some heads.

So, what's the best way to track down and infiltrate a gang of Harley riding outlaws? Buy Kawasakis, and Village People costumes, of course. And it sort of works! Based on their research, Estonian scientist have concluded that bikers can smell a cop a mile away, except when they ride a Kawasaki and dressed as a construction worker.

Eventually Mitch is discovered to be in the army by the gang, and is beat by "large-armed T.J." His Beret buddies are able to track him down, and he is ultimately rescued.

Mitch and his boys somehow are able to get weapons from one of their army buddies who just gives them a ton of stuff. I don't mean a handgun, or a riffle. We're talking dynamite, smoke grenades, mini-rockets and a bunch of other explosives. You'd think that they were invading Canada with the way that they're loading up on bombs.

We enter the final confrontation. Amazingly, there are no deaths in the battle, in spite of the fact that the Berets blow up entire mountains. The Green Berets, through strategy and ingenuity, are able to defeat the bikers and take them to wherever they plan on taking them. Roll credits


That's Marvin folks. 
Eh, there's nothing special. It's not even "so bad it's funny." It's just kind of boring. The only funny parts are from William Smith (T.J.), who actually is pretty good in this. Marvin Gaye is cool too, but everybody else is just kind of there.

In spite of the images that the title would make you think about, there aren't any steamy scenes. I would expect some of that in a bikersploitation movie. It was the 70s for crying out loud. Streaking was all the rage.

The bikers themselves are just kind of lame, and the Berets are lamer. The bikers are impressively not intimidating in the least. They seem like after school special bikers, instead of down and dirty hardcore bikers. They make renegade look masculine.

I don't really recommend Chrome and Hot Leather unless you're a hardcore __sploitation fan. Or you want to see William Smith or Marvin Gaye handling their business.

Things I learned   
  • When a woman says she wants to talk, talk, and talk some more, she doesn't really mean that she wants to talk.
  • Bikers fight like the villains in the Adams West Batman series.
  • Marvin Gaye should've been in more movies. 
  • Bikers don't actually want to hurt people, they just like to sass back. 
  • Draft dodgers love to play pinball. 

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